BEIJING Chinese rights activist Chen Guangcheng has left the U.S. Embassy in Beijing after six days inside, following his dramatic escape from 19 months under house arrest, according to state news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday.
China's Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning U.S. handling of Chen. Here is the statement from ministry spokesman Liu Weimin, which was also issued by Xinhua:
"It is understood that Chen Guangcheng of Linyi County in Shandong province entered the United States embassy to China in late April and left of his own accord six days later. It must be pointed out that the United States Embassy took the Chinese citizen Chen Guangcheng into the embassy in an irregular manner, and China expresses its strong dissatisfaction over this.
"The U.S. handling of this was interference in Chinese domestic affairs, and this is totally unacceptable to China. The U.S. Embassy to China has a duty to abide by the relevant international and Chinese laws, and should not engage in activities that are not in keeping with its functions."
"China demands that the U.S. apologise over this, thoroughly investigate this incident, punish those who are responsible, and give assurances that such incidents will not recur. China has noted that the U.S. side has expressed that it takes seriously China's demands and concerns, and also given assurances that it will take the necessary measures to prevent such incidents recurring. The U.S. side should reflect on its policies and practices, and take effective actions to protect broader Sino-U.S. relations.
"The Chinese side stresses that China is a country of rule of law, and any citizen's legitimate rights and interests are protected by the Constitution and the law. At the same time, all citizens are obliged to abide by the Constitution and laws."
(Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Nick Macfie)